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Dolphins Keep Four QB’s; Make Moves to Get Roster to 53

The surprise of the day is that the Dolphins are keeping four QB’s on the roster, but expect one, likely Matt Moore, to be moved in the next 1-2 days.

Here’s the piece from the Palm Beach Post on Friday’s roster moves to get the Dolphins down to 53.

A prominent question throughout Dolphins training camp was which quarterback among Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, David Garrard and Pat Devlin would be the odd man out.

The answer, at least for now: none of the above.

The Dolphins trimmed their roster to 53 players by Friday evening’s NFL deadline, and all four quarterbacks were surprisingly still with the team. Tannehill, the team’s first-round pick, was a given, but the Dolphins also decided to keep injured veteran David Garrard, healthy backup Matt Moore and second-year pro Pat Devlin.

Of course, it is unlikely all four will still be on the roster for the opening game at Houston on Sept. 9.

“I’m not exactly sure how long it’s going to be,” coach Joe Philbin said after Friday’s practice.

Sept. 9 is the true deadline for the Dolphins to decide which quarterbacks they will keep behind Tannehill. For vested veterans such as Garrard and Moore — players with five-plus years of NFL service — their entire 2012 salaries become guaranteed if they are on the team’s roster on the day of their first game.

If Garrard is still with the Dolphins then, he will receive his full $2.25 million salary. If Moore is still with the team, he will earn $2.75 million. But neither will get any salary if the Dolphins cut them before Sept. 9. Garrard and Moore are in the final years of their contracts.

Devlin, who spent all of last year on the practice squad after going undrafted out of Delaware, would receive the veteran’s minimum of $465,000 if he makes the team. He also has practice-squad eligibility, but the team would have to cut him and subject him to waivers first.

Earlier this week, it appeared that Garrard would be on his way out of Miami. He had left knee surgery three weeks ago, and until recently he had not been able to jog or put any weight on his knee. But Garrard worked out for coaches on Thursday and Friday and might be close to returning relatively soon.

If Garrard continues his progress, it could make Moore expendable via trade. Multiple sources say Moore is bracing himself to be traded but prepared for any situation. Several teams without good backup quarterbacks have already called the Dolphins inquiring about Moore’s availability, including Arizona, Green Bay and Denver, although it is unclear if the Dolphins are willing to trade Moore at this time. Garrard likely doesn’t have much trade value because of his knee injury.

The Dolphins might be able to get more for Moore — who went 6-6 as the Dolphins’ fill-in starter last year — if they wait for a team to lose a quarterback to injury in the regular season. The NFL announced Thursday that the new trading deadline has been pushed back two weeks to Week 8, giving the Dolphins more time during the season to pull off a deal.

If the Dolphins trade Moore now, they will be searching for receivers and cornerbacks, in addition to draft picks. The Dolphins currently have more quarterbacks on the roster (four) than true cornerbacks (three) — Sean Smith, Richard Marshall and Jimmy Wilson are the only corners still on the team, although Jimmy Wilson can play cornerback as well.

One player who thought he was traded was Miami running back Steve Slaton, who was reportedly close to being dealt to Washington for receiver Anthony Armstrong, a Dolphins practice squad member in 2008. But the trade never materialized.

At receiver, the Dolphins settled their 12-man position battle by keeping Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Legedu Naanee, Marlon Moore and rookie Rishard Matthews, at least for now. The Dolphins will still likely be making several roster moves Saturday, as waiver claims made on players released Friday will be executed at noon Saturday. The Dolphins, who picked eighth in April’s NFL Draft, will have the eighth waiver priority.

Receivers Jeff Fuller and Chris Hogan, who’s best known for getting the nickname “7-Eleven” on HBO’s Hard Knocks, were released Friday but both could still be added to the practice squad.

Among the biggest names cut by Miami on Friday were receivers Roberto Wallace and Clyde Gates. Of the team’s nine draft picks this year, the only one who didn’t make the team was sixth-round receiver B.J. Cunningham.

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One Response to “Dolphins Keep Four QB’s; Make Moves to Get Roster to 53”

  1. Dewey says:

    True to Dolphin form, they let go a receiver, in Chris Hogan, that not only was always open, but actually caught passes. There is no guarantee another team won’t snap him up before we get a chance to bring him back to the practice squad.

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